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CDC: Quarantine Can Be Shortened to 7-10 Days
By Kentucky News Network
ATLANTA - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its guidelines about quarantining after getting exposed to COVID-19. Under the new advisory, some people only need to quarantine for between seven and ten days instead of 14.

The agency said that if a person shows no symptoms after ten days, they can leave quarantine, even without getting a COVID-19 test. If a person is exposed and tests negative and shows no symptoms, they can stop self-isolating after just seven days.

Officials said that people should still watch out for symptoms for up to 14 days, and that people should still listen to their local authorities, who may recommend quarantining for the full 14 days.

"I want to stress that we are sharing these options with public health agencies across the country, so that they can determine how long quarantine period should last in their jurisdictions based on local conditions and needs," Dr. Henry Walke, the CDC's COVID-19 incident manager, said. "Everyone should follow this specific guidance from their local public health authorities about how long they should quarantine."

Health officials applauded the move and hope it will help with contact tracing efforts. Many people are wary about having to quarantine for two weeks and fear they could lose their job following a positive test. This has caused some people to ignore their symptoms and avoid getting tested.

The chief medical officer for CDC’s Covid-response said that ending a quarantine after 10 days without a negative test leads to about 1% risk of spreading the virus to others, and after a seven-day quarantine with a negative test, there’s about a 5% chance of spreading the virus. The CDC called the new guidelines "two acceptable alternatives."

Officials said the original 14-day quarantine period was based on what scientists believed to be the lengthy coronavirus incubation period, during which symptoms are not yet present and it’s difficult to detect the virus. They said the 14-day recommendation “was written before testing was widely available” and researchers have since learned more about the virus.

Published 08:36 PM, Wednesday Dec. 02, 2020
Updated 08:54 AM, Thursday Dec. 03, 2020

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